Thursday, 29 January 2015

Mixed Media Tealight Holder Alteration

Good morning everyone. It's my turn (Julia) to share an ATP Exchange Post where we do something a little different for your inspiration.

One of my favourite things to do is to alter new or secondhand items so they look more to my taste, may be given as gifts or alternatively used in my own home.

This week, I'm going to show how I've altered two small tealight holders which are available from Artist Trading Post.

These tealight holders are hollow so not as heavy as they look.
I wanted to make them look old and somewhat beaten up so chose to use paints and mediums to help. Here's what they looked like after I finished:

They are a little in shadow here but you will be able to see more detail in later images.
Both holders are given two coats of gesso and a light sanding in between coats. This is followed by using a stencil (find similar here) and modelling paste to create a design on three sides of each holder.
The holders are given two coats of Fresco paint in Snowflake. I want to have a good surface for the mediums to follow.
Initially I wanted to leave the metal candle holder as it was but this wasn't my best idea!
Each metal holder is given a coat of Snow Cap Alcohol Ink. To age the container, some Espresso Alcohol Ink is applied.
The alcohol ink is applied with a baby wipe. For some reason it seems to help the colour to split and the Espresso becomes a lovely rusty colour.
The blocks are now painted with Fresco Vintage Lace.
The next step is to add colour to the modelling paste. Fresco paint in London Night is added first followed by a light dusting of black Pan Pastel (find similar here). A good tip is to replace your stencil over the design and add your chosen product through this.
A light touch of Treasure Gold White Fire is added with foam through the stencil. This mixes nicely with the pastel to create a grungy look.
Each face with the stencilled paste is then coated with crackle glaze which is antiqued with acrylic paint when dry.
The fourth side on each holder is stamped with a PaperArtsy Mini Stamp (find similar stamp here) Versamark (or similar) then embossed with detail gold embossing powder - sorry, I forgot the photo for this stage! A coat of crackle glaze is then applied which is antiqued with acrylic paint once dry. Strangely, the gold embossing powder turns quite a pewter colour under the glaze but I like this very much.
To age the blocks, small pieces are cut away with a sharp knife.
To age the cut areas and edges of the holders, Archival Ink is applied with some cut n dry foam.
Two butterfly charms are coated with Snow Cap Alcohol Ink - I used an old cheap paintbrush for this task as it can be difficult to remove. This is followed by lots of Espresso Alcohol Ink, various acrylic paint colours and crackle glaze.
When the crackle glaze is dry, some antiquing cream or acrylic paint is applied and left to dry a little.
The paint is wiped away with a baby wipe leaving it behind where required. It slips into crackle glaze cracks really well and gives a great look. I will probably dirty this up a little more with some black acrylic paint and finish with some matte medium just to tone down any shine. I rather like the butterfly on the left too but perhaps it's a bit shiny for this project!
A hot glue gun is used to fix the butterflies to the embossed face of each holder. Acrylic paint is then used sparingly to give the effect of rust runs from the butterfly. This image clearly shows where the holder has been cut with the knife to give it that aged appearance - once the archival ink is added of course!
Once the holders are finished, a nightlight is added. I'm pleased with the rusty effect created by the alcohol inks.
Always difficult to see any sheen in a photo so I thought I'd hold this one and photograph it at the same time! Interesting to see the different tones in the Treasure Gold - I've probably mixed my colours a little in the pots!
Finished holders complete with lighted candles.
A night time photo so not perfect but here are my grungy, altered candle holders on the fireplace in my lounge.

Really pleased with these and even Husband says they look good there!
I hope this post inspires you to either buy a product ready for altering or perhaps have a look around the house and see what's hiding there just begging  for a makeover! Check out the stock at the Artist Trading Post for all your alteration needs and products.


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Challenge winners - Fresh Beginnings !

It's time to announce the winners of the first challenge of 2015 and boy was it a hard decision !

So, time to share the winner ..........

We loved the impact of Donna's journal page and this large stamp is gorgeous !
Congratulations Donna  if you could email to claim your prize and also get your winners badge. 
So, now on to the top 3:
Please email for your top 3 badges.  
Thanks to everyone who entered the Fresh Beginnings challenge, the standard of the entries blew us away!
The current challenge is Flower Power and is open until 20:00 on the 4 February so you've got plenty of time to join us ! 
Enjoy your weekend ! 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Flower Power !

Hi everyone. Julia here with a new challenge from Artist Trading Post Exchange. I do hope you are all keeping safe and warm if your weather is really wintery! I get fed up with grey days, rain, poor light and the cold so it seemed like a good idea to cheer ourselves up. 
Here's my challenge to you:
'January is often a very grey and dark month. With this in mind, I'd like to brighten things up a little and bring some summer fun into the winter. Using a Mixed Media style, I'd like you to make some handmade flowers and use them on a project of your choice.

Remember we are a Mixed Media challenge and stamping must be included, but no digi images please. A maximum of 10 challenges can be entered including ATP Exchange.
The team have come up with some wonderful inspiration for you so why not scroll down the page then click on their names to visit their blogs and find out all the details.
Artist Trading Post generously provide a £10 voucher for our winner each time. There's always the chance to be in the top three too and have a blinky for your blog!

I'm sure you'll agree that the team have come up with some wonderful inspiration for you today. We just know that you're going to amaze us with your creativity too so what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
One small reminder: do pop back on Saturday 24th January to see who is the winner and the runners up (in no particular order!) chosen from Sue's fab challenge 'Fresh Beginnings. . . ' at the start of the month.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Acrylic Pigment Ink

Hi everyone, Ruth here for our next Exchange Day Post. I have products that are my go to and I use most of the time like Fresco Paints and Distress Inks and then other products which I like to have a play with every now and then such as Alcohol inks and Pan pastels. I think Acrylic Pigment Ink (API) will now fall into this second category following my playtime!

The product I've used is IZINK, I think it's been around a year or two and a few months ago Aladine who make it and Clearsnap who distribute it bought out several new colours including pearlescents.

I only recently became aware of it and thought I'd share some of the results of dipping my toe in the water with it. Before Christmas I was looking for quick ideas for Christmas cards and saw a you tube video by contadinaK (title- dry embossing and paint) and that was closely followed by a Donna Downey one exploring the same product so I thought 'ooh that looks interesting' and yes I was tempted and the basket magnet worked it's magic! There are several IZINK videos on you tube if you want to know more about the product and some project ideas.

My understanding is that because Pigment Ink has pigment suspended in it, it's therefore thicker than dye inks and that affects how it reacts. Apologies for poor lighting in some of the photos, role on lighter nights.

On the left is Black India Ink, the right one is IZINK API in cactus

Sprayed with water the India Ink spreads quickly.

Distress re inker in wild honey v turquoise API sprayed with water and I've used watercolour card stock

I thought this experimental piece had potential, the wild honey has spread but the API although remaining thick in the central part, spreads out even quicker. I think this quality and how it brayers are what I most like about pigment inks.

Brayered Distress Inks and Smoothy stamping card

Brayered API...much thicker so doesn't sink in the same and spreads more.

On absorbent surfaces you can use more ink and keep layering up the colours.

On metal foil sheet, you can see that it's more gloopy and can leave a nice texture.

On foil and any non absorbent surface you only need a tiny amount and it must dry one colour before you put the next layer on or they will just blend together. It dries very quickly though. This is on glossy card stock.

The dry embossing technique from the video followed by gesso lightly brayered over.

The same technique as the base for Christmas cards. Love the holly top right.

I was inspired to create some journal pages out of these. I didn't feel the first needed much more so I've just added some simple stamping with Stampers Annonymous SCF005 and black stitching around the pigment ink. Tension stitch not quite right but it works!

I took another sheet of watercolour paper and applied the same colours but diluted them much more. This would then tie the 2 journal pages together, I also used some Wendy Vecchi clear embossing paste randomly through a Tim Holtz bubble stencil just to add some texture.

I stitched some shapes onto the other inked sheet before cutting out and applying. The text stamps are Lin Browns ELB06

I hope I've encouraged you to experiment with Acrylic Pigment Inks or maybe products you've already got, just to see what else they can maybe surprised. You might even share your results with us in our current challenge which is appropriately 'Fresh Beginnings', you can find the details here, there's one more week to enter.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Ruth x